Rising costs: Strategies for childminders – Childminder | Connecting parents to children


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Rising costs: Strategies for childminders

Rising costs: Strategies for childminders
As Christmas approaches, childminders face the challenge of managing the increased expenses that December brings amidst generally high living costs, coupled with energy costs rising in January.
While this period might be financially daunting, there are effective strategies that can help ease the burden.

Money-saving tips

1. Budgeting and planning: Create a detailed budget for December and January. Prioritise necessary expenses and find areas where you can cut back. Planning ahead can help avoid last-minute spending.

2. Energy efficiency: With costs on the rise, now is the time to invest in energy-efficient practices. Simple changes like LED lighting, insulation, and energy-saving appliances in your home/setting can lead to significant savings.

3. Festive activities: While festive activities are important for children’s enjoyment and learning, they don’t have to be expensive. Opt for homemade decorations, recycled materials for crafts, and hunt down local, free events. Remember that as a registered childminder in England, you can work off-premises for a maximum of 50% of your time. Many places offer special discounted rates for childminders.

4. Government assistance and grants: Stay informed about any government assistance or grants available for childminders. These can offer crucial support during times of rising costs.

5. Parental engagement: Communicate with parents about any challenges and changes you need to implement. Transparency builds trust and understanding.

6. Collaborations and shared resources: Collaborate with other local childminders. Sharing resources, ideas, and even bulk-buying supplies will cut costs. Purchasing secondhand, or exchanging and loaning equipment with other childminders is another great reason to join forces and create a childminding network.

7. Providing meals: Batch cooking and freezing meals into portions can be a great help. It generally works out cheaper if you are cooking a bolognese, for example, to buy the ingredients to cook a big batch of it and freeze it, than to cook it one meal at a time. It’s also less work –  you could even feed your own family with it too. Monitor portion sizes and don’t put too much on children’s plates at once.

8. Review your fees: If all else fails, consider a reasonable fee adjustment. Ensure any changes are in line with other factors (resources, activities, staff costs and inflation) and are communicated to parents well in advance.

9. Use free technology to support your services: In case you missed it, the Childminder App is totally free! Our nifty little app simplifies tasks, reduces paperwork, and improves communication. Your children have more of your time, parents are regularly updated with ease; everyone is happy.

Rising costs are a challenge, but with careful planning and strategic actions, childminders can navigate this period effectively. Remember, the goal is not just to survive these challenging times but to continue providing quality care and a nurturing environment for the children.

Start your planning now – download the Childminder App today!

By Ivy Steele